Mike Stoops is back in college football. The former Oklahoma defensive coordinator is joining Alabama’s staff as an analyst in an off-field position, according to USA TODAY Sports.
Stoops was fired as defensive coordinator after OU lost to Texas 48–45 in the Red River Rivalry. The OU defense struggled mightily in the game, giving up 501 yards of total offense in the loss and allowed the highest offensive output by Texas in the history of their rivalry. Assistant head coach Ruffin McNeill took over for the rest of the season with mixed results. Stoops was fired less than two years after his brother, Bob, stepped down as the head coach and retired.
After Stoops was fired and replaced with McNeill, players even took some shots at the fired DC, like true freshman star Brendan Radley-Hiles. One of the criticisms of Stoops was that he was unable to change his coaching style to fit the modern-day player.
Stoops admitted as much during an interview in Oklahoma City after he was fired, saying, “Social media has changed the game in a lot of ways. Kids are much different now than they were back when you [Dusty Dvoracek] were playing and we were together that first time around… I noticed a little bit more of it when I came back and we really had a great group of secondary guys… they were the first group I started to notice a little bit different, they had their own thoughts and ideas, but still played to a very high level… there has to be accountability and you have to play for each other at a high level… I’m a stickler to detail and being precise in everything you do and maybe that just wore on players, but I still believe it’s the right away to approach any way.”
Nick Saban is expected to add Stoops as part of his support staff for next season, which is expected to mean a role as an analyst or consultant. Stoops was OU’s co-defensive coordinator from 1999-2003, then went to be the head coach at Arizona for eight years, before he returned to Norman in 2012.
OU since hired Alex Grinch from Ohio State to be the new defensive coordinator in Norman.
**Sign up here for our HCS weekly e-mails for a chance to win FREE Heartland College Sports and Big 12 team gear!!**